Freezer friendly turkey pot pie. I know it is not a craft related video.

Are you getting sick of turkey?  I know that I am.  The sooner I can get rid of that stuff the better.

Generally, we have turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.  This year I was relieved of the Thanksgiving turkey because Joe was out on the road and I was home alone.  He was home for Christmas.  Joe prepares the holiday feasts.

Yes, I’m a “Scrooge” when it comes to all the holiday cooking.

Especially when it comes to all that left over turkey.  Bleck. :/

For several years I have been making Turkey Pot Pie and freezing it.  Have you checked out the prices of the frozen Pot Pie dinners at your local market?  Do you even know what is in the stuff?  I have created a video, using photos, for a step by step recipe to making Turkey Pot Pie you can freeze.  It can be frozen for up to six months then just pop it in your oven until golden brown and add a salad for a healthy and fairly quick dinner.  Who is adverse to having and quick dinner prep?  Not me that is for sure.

The recipe I use in the video, below, I am sharing with you.  Just change out the turkey for the chicken in the recipe.  I have a crust inside the pan as well as on top.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie.

Here is the video I uploaded to YouTube.

The internet is a fabulous place to find homemade seasoning recipes.  I have found a Poultry Seasoning recipe online and will share it with you.

Homemade Poultry Seasoning

I hope you all have had a fabulous holiday and have enjoyed your friends and family at this special time of year.  I’m sending on my wishes for a great New Year as well.

I will be back with more crafty things in 2015.  Hope to see you all then.

Leslie

The future home of book binding supplies.

Today I am in the right most cupboard above my work table.  I have four cupboards on this wall and this is the one that has been the hardest to get to because I have my other video making light attached to one of the door handles.

Oh, look at this!  A clean work surface.  This photo was taken in October.  I needed to see that!  There is still hope for a clean work table.

Right side video making light

Right side video making light

Are you ready for this?  Seriously!  Are you ready.  I’m not.  There are a couple of sad stories about to be told with this cupboard.

 

The sad before

The sad before

The cardboard box to the right on the bottom shelf.  I hang my head in shame.  This is the box I received from my friend, Lynn, who lives in the UK.  She sent this to me for Christmas of 2010.  The bag of chocolate candy Maltesers are still unopened.  Don’t think I will be opening them now.  Lynn was so sweet to send them to me.  They are similar to the “Whopper” candy malt balls in the US.

Long forgotten Christmas gift

Long forgotten Christmas gift

The little box to the side of the candy is one hand made by Lynn.  A gorgeous box that holds delightful sparkly bits inside.

Beautiful handmade flowers and snowflakes

Beautiful handmade flowers and snowflakes

Lynn also included some very interesting photo frames that I have been wanting to use but could never remember where I had put them :/

Lovely photo frames

Lovely photo frames

Now you know my shameful secret *sigh*.

Moving along.  In this cupboard are numerous empty tin cans.  Don’t have a clue why I have saved them.  One of them I think will work for my embossing powders.

Empty tin

Empty tin

New home for my embossing powders

New home for my embossing powders

The next crazy tale is a box over flowing with motel room keys.  While doing my truck driving job we spent about 250 nights a year away from home.  Someone told us our private information was put on the magnetic strip of the hotel key.  Of course….we panicked and kept all of the keys.

Messy box of motel keys

Messy box of motel keys

Neat box of motel keys

Neat box of motel keys

I had a brilliant idea.  Alter the motel keys and make Christmas themed tags from them.  That is still an idea I am going to work on.  Make them everyday tags as well.

Christmas themed tags from motel keys

Christmas themed tags from motel keys

Working at getting my floor cleared so I don’t kill myself in this mess of a room.  I decided this cupboard would be the right place to hold all of my book binding supplies.  Chipboard, lined note pads, Post-It-Notes, scrap chipboard, scrap pieces of cardboard, scrap pieces of Foam Core board, and other similar items.  So the first item to get up off the floor is my stash of chipboard.

Box of chipboard sheets

Box of chipboard sheets

Now I can say that my book binding supplies are all in one place.  I even found a home for the beautiful cardboard boxes I made back in October.

From CRAP!

The sad before

The sad before

To FAB!

Book binding supplies.  Fabulous

Book binding supplies. Fabulous!

Oh and I will be keeping this giant postage stamp from the UK.  See.  Christmas of 2010 :/

Postage stamp from the UK

Postage stamp from the UK

Do you have any dirty little secrets hiding in your cupboards?  I don’t know about you but mine seem to be chalk full of them :/

Leslie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where have you been, Leslie?

I’ve been focusing on my truck driving business paperwork during December.  The end of 2013 is just days away.  I had to make a choice.  Get in some crafting time, catch up on my blog reading and commenting, or get my paperwork finished and over before 2014 begins.  I chose to complete the task that is the most dreaded by me.  The paperwork necessary for tax time.  The worst of it is over.  I have a day or two remaining of sorting out the days we were home this year versus the days out away from home in our truck driving business.

I am only popping in here, briefly, to allay any fears of my going into another state of depression.  Last winter was a really bad one for me.  Knowing that I will be leaving  home again for long periods of time and not be able to do anything in the way of crafting has been the hardest to deal with.  For those of you that don’t have the advantage of traveling cross country and long to be able to just get away and see what is over the next hill believe that being a truck driver is the best job in the world to  have.  Honestly, it does have moments of breathtaking beauty.  Mostly it is monotonous and bone wearying.

Stress, in major high doses, doesn’t help either.  Both in the truck driving and the tax preparation involved.  The holidays don’t help either.  Preparation for Thanksgiving, followed closely by Christmas, and then the New Year makes this woman one cranky person.  The cranky quotient  amps up to mental and emotional shut down as the pressure mounts.  Along with that the added stress of knowing this cycle will resume shortly after the first of the year.  No time is allowed for creativity nor pure joy in a normal life.

I have fully retired from the truck driving life and a new one begins in 2014.  It is time to get my old life sorted and boxed up.  Clear the path of obstacles and prepare for the new life that awaits me.  A life filled with creativity, sharing, teaching, and just doing the things that I truly love to do.

Last Saturday, December 21st, we were to leave for Colorado and have Christmas with some of our kids.  The evening of the 20th drizzling rain began to fall in Oklahoma, followed by plummeting temperatures.  Saturday morning arrived to a frozen world outside my door.  We had a rental car ready to be picked up, the question was….would we be able to get the car?  Frozen streets, businesses closed, no one answering phones at the rental agency to see if we could even get the car.  Just before noon we were able to get out of the house and make the careful trek to the car lot.

This is the world that greeted us that Saturday morning.  The grass in our yard was frozen in capsules of ice.

Grass encaplsulated in ice

Grass encapsulated in ice

Icicles in frozen streams from the hood of my car to the tires.

Icicles freezing my tires

Icicles freezing my tires

A 1/2 inch thick sheet of ice covering the hood of my car.  Checking the oil of my car would have been impossible.

Hood of my car frozen solid

Hood of my car frozen solid

A close up view of the ice sheet joined at the hood edge and top of the headlights.

Headlight obscured by the ice

Headlight obscured by the ice

The tree outside my house laden with ice.

Our frozen tree

Our frozen tree

Our tree was not the only one frozen.  A Christmas Tree lot located near the rental car agency is a sadly beautiful sight.  Once these trees thaw they will be a total loss financially for the seller of Christmas magic.

Frozen Christmas Tree top

Frozen Christmas Tree top

Frozen Christmas Trees

Frozen Christmas Trees

The local news channels were begging people to stay home and off the roads on Saturday.  The route we would be traveling to Colorado was very slick and hazardous.  Sunday would dawn warmer and would make traveling easier so we waited it out.  Once we left Sunday mid morning the only area of concern was in Kansas.  Salina, Kansas is near the I-70 route we would be taking west.  Salina received five inches of snow overnight which made traveling difficult.  We had to get off the highway for gas and encountered a side road that had not been cleared.  We got stuck in the snow.  A band of hearty souls came to the aid of many motorists, including us, to free us from the grip of ice and snow.

Good  Samaritans to our aid

Good Samaritans to our aid

We arrived, safely, in Colorado.  Christmas morning dawned bright and cold.  Joe began his ritual of cooking the feast in an unfamiliar kitchen.  At our daughter’s house he and I had plenty of room to work around each other as he went about the task of making his stuffing.

Preparing Christmas dinner

Preparing Christmas dinner

A “Christmas Toast” was held in front of the Christmas Tree by father and daughter.  The toast officiated by Bogie the Boxer.

Christmas Toast

Christmas Toast

A delight to this grandmother.  Watching her grandson’s captivated gaze at the Christmas Village display at his Aunt Loreli’s home.

 

A child exploring a tableau

A child exploring a tableau

Christmas is magical with children.  A child’s first bike, a little imagination, and a squirt gun to defeat the enemies of his world.  Oh, and it is also important to be singing “Jingle Bells” as he pedals his bike while fighting foes.

 

A new bike for Christmas

A new bike for Christmas

We are back home now, in Oklahoma.  I will do another vanishing act for a little while to finish my paperwork in preparation for the New Year.  I had purchased a supply of corrugated cardboard sheets from my local box seller.  I didn’t buy all of this cardboard, this was taken in the store.  I have projects planned and will be in full creative mode.

 

Cardboard sheets

Cardboard sheets

Watch for storage posts and/or videos that will be created out of this cardboard.  There will also be tags, greeting cards, scrapbook layouts, and some mini albums created in 2014.  Full steam ahead!

Leslie

My Christmas present to Maureen. No peeking Maureen!

A package came for me a couple days ago from Maureen Mathis.  Her Christmas gift to me put a ginormous smile on my face and tears in my eyes.  She was so thoughtful to give me something that I can take along with me on the road to do some creating in the hotel rooms we stay in nightly.

A Slice tool kit, with storage pouch, that holds a spatula, pokey tool, craft knife, replacement blades, tweezers, a scraper, scissors, 6 inch ruler, and a bone folder.  This is the coolest tool kit and will come in handy.

A Slice tool kit

The Martha Stewart Portable Work Station is filled with pockets to hold many of the products I take along in my craft tote.  Currently I have to dig out all the stuff just to find the product I want to use.  It is compact and has a long strap that will be easier for me to carry into the hotel room.  Open it up and set it on the bed to begin creating.

A Portable Work Station

Thank you, so very much Maureen.  I am so blessed to have you as my friend.  I appreciate you and your generous heart.

Now, Maureen, you have to stop reading this post.

As many of you know, Maureen has a craft room she is totally pleased with.  For those of you that haven’t seen it yet I have included her video tour – Part 1 – of her craft room so you can see where she creates.

Okay, I guess you don’t get that video here.  I don’t know what is wrong with YouTube….maybe it is just me 😦

I am making her a bulletin board to go in her craft room.  One she can attach card inspirations, family photos, favorite things she wants to have near or whatever she wants to put on it.

I have one remaining frame and self healing cork attached to a board that fits the frame.  I am using DCWV’s Mariposa paper collection and some textured card stock from Club Scrap.  I have chosen the Mariposa papers because Maureen reminds me of a beautiful butterfly.  She brings joy to the hearts of all she encounters and she leaves them with a huge smile on their faces.  She has that effect on me anyway.  I am so very blessed to have her as my friend.

The papers are cut into 6″ x 6″ squares and placed over the cork.  This is the “test fitting” process.  I wanted to make sure the colors of the plain card stock don’t clash with the butterfly papers.  Once I was satisfied with the layout of the papers I glued them directly to the cork.

Test fitting the patterned and plain papers

After sitting overnight under a home styled “press” to ensure the papers were properly seated and adhered I attached fabric hem tape to sort of frame each of the papers.  I used fabric glue to adhere the hem tape to the paper.  Once more the project went under my “press” to allow the hem tape to be securely adhered.

You’re not still reading this are you Maureen?

Adhered fabric hem tape to frame the papers

While the cork board insert was in the “press” which was several pieces of stray wood I have accumulated over the years, two cases of Joe’s wine that is boxed, my cast iron dutch oven, and a heavy camera case Joe brought in to complete the full pressure points for everything to dry flat and secure.  Sorry, I forgot to take photos of my “press”.  Use what you’ve got 😀

I began the painting process on the frame.  I am using acrylic paint you can pick up at  any craft/hobby store.  Black and gold are the colors I’ve chosen.  I taped around the inner part of the frame using a low tack painters tape to section off the area I wanted to paint.  Once that was completed I set the frame aside for the paint to dry.

Painting the frame has begun

The inner section of the frame was taped to enable me to paint the outer edge with the black acrylic paint.  Once that was finished I set the frame aside to dry once more.

Outer section of the frame has been painted

 

The painter’s tape was then applied to both of the black areas, leaving the center section open for me to apply the gold acrylic paint.

Gold paint applied to the center section of the frame

 

Here is a close up of the black and gold painted frame.  Along with my piles of painter’s tape in my trash just below my table.

Black and gold painted frame

After the cork board had dried of all the glue applications I had done it was time to paint the wooden edge of the insert.  I also painted that with the black acrylic paint.Painting the wood insert

This is the “test fitting” of the frame to the insert.  Everything fits and I’m happy with how it is turning out.  This project will be handed off to my master painter who will apply a coat of varnish to the frame.  Once the varnish dries he will then attach the insert into the frame with glazier points to complete the assembly of this cork board.

Test fitting the frame and the insert

Once that part of this is completed then I will be getting out the much dreaded hot glue to attach flowers, pearls, feathers, and other types of embellishments before I send this off to Maureen.

The rubber stamping inventory project will now continue while I await Joe’s part of this project to be finished.  I hope I can get this finished for her to receive it by Christmas!

 

 

Christmas Card Boxed Set.

Well, this project is complete.  As complete as I’m going to get it.

Christmas card boxed set

This box has eight (8) 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ cards and envelopes to fit; eight (8) 3-1/4″ x 4-3/4″ cards with handmade envelopes; seven (7) largish tags; eight (8) 3″ x 3″ note cards with handmade envelopes.

The 3″ x 3″ note cards is the final piece of this boxed set.  To make the card bases you can get 8 from a sheet of 12″ x 12″ paper.  Cut the paper at 9″, 6″, and 3″ to have four strips of 3″ x 12″.  Cut these strips in half at 6″ to achieve the final 3″ x 6″ card bases, then score at 3″ and fold.

To make the card bases from 8-1/2″ x 11″ card stock you will get three (3) cards.  Cut the paper horizontally at 8″, 5″, and 3″.  Take the 3″ x 11″ strips and cut them horizontally, again, at 6″.  Score these card bases at 3″ to get your 3″ x 3″ folded card.

The background mat will be cut at 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ and your focal image piece will be cut at 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″.

3" x 3" note cards

The Tim Holtz stamps I’ve used throughout this set are almost 2-1/2″ wide.  I selected the area I wanted to feature on the card front and cut it at 2-1/2″.  The images were stamped with VersaMark and heat embossed with black embossing powder.  I used Antique Linen Distress Ink to the images for a single color instead of the multiple colors as done in the other cards.

Antique Linen Distress Ink on the image

Last winter I went through my craft room and reorganized and cleaned it.  I knew where everything was….until I went back out on the road in my day job for the rest of the year.  Somewhere in that room I have several 8-1/2″ x 11″ acetate sheets I purchased from Stampin’ Up! several years back.  I also have some chipboard Christmas words and ornaments, also purchased from Stampin’ Up! several years back.  I can’t find them 😦  These were going to be used on the lid of this box.

I follow the “Frugal Crafter” blog and she has a WOYWW (What’s On Your Work desk Wednesday”) she faithfully posts of her nice clean work room.  This isn’t Wednesday but I’m going to show the avalanche I have going on after the project completion.

What a flaming mess!

I do this to myself every time.  Leave just enough space for me to work in while I push and shove the debris pile as it slides to my work area.  Then comes the wasted time in digging through the pile to find my scissors or my pencil.

If you want to see how this project came together from start to finish I will leave links to each of my posts.

  1. Box creation.  Making the box, lid, and the inserts.
  2. 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ cards.  Assembly line style.
  3. 3-1/4″ x 4-3/4″ cards with handmade envelopes.
  4. Large gift tags made from store bought tags.
  5. 3″ x 3″ note cards with handmade envelopes.  The instructions for the 3″ x 3″ note cards are in this post.

Hope you enjoy creating this gift item.  Now I have to go clean up my mess 😦  Crapazoid.  Maybe next time I’ll put things away as I finish using them.  Well, one can always hope.

Leslie

 

Large gift tags for the stationery box.

One more piece of this project is completed.

Large gift tags for stationery box

I have used some tags I had purchased quite some time ago from Michaels.  They are Recollections brand and measure 2-5/8″ x 5-1/4″.

Recollections brand tags

I’ve had to cut them down to 4-1/4″ to fit in the little area of the stationery box.

Trimmed the tag down to 4-1/4"

And rounded the cut corners so they look just like the original tags.

Rounding off the cut corners

I have attempted to keep these tags coordinated with the cards.  I have continued using the Tim Holtz stamps used on the cards themselves.  I could only fit 7 tags in the space allotted in the box.  Probably could have gotten more in if I had not made them so thick.

I’ve used the Christmas tokens from Tim Holtz.  These I purchased a couple years back intending to use them but just never did.  Each tag has a coin and the ribbons are the same on each tag.  The ribbon was purchased last year from Michaels.

Merry Christmas tag:

Merry Christmas tag

Noel tag:

Noel tag

Believe tag:

Believe tag

Santa Claus tag:

Santa Claus tag

Snowflake tag – I used an old Stampin’ Up! set and some left over flourish bling pieces.

Snowflake tag

Christmas Carol tag:

Christmas Carol tag

Christmas Tree tag:

Christmas Tree tag

I’ve covered the back of each tag with some Christmas print paper from K&Company I bought last year.  The backs of the tags were all messed up from the Distress Stains and any other kinds of ink I used on the front.

Back of tag covered with print paper

Two parts remain to this project.  3″ x 3″ note cards to go in the last little are of the stationery box, and to decorate the lid.  This is one large project, a bit more than I first conceived it to be.  Isn’t that how it normally goes.  Seems quite simple in my head when I came up with the idea.  I do like how this is turning out.

Joe is in the kitchen, has been all day, preparing for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  He is taking things slowly and in spurts so he doesn’t over tire himself.  The stuffing and turkey will be made tomorrow and we will have our neighbors over for our annual feast.  Plus we are going to be gathered around the table playing a card game after we have eaten.  With all of Joe’s doctor appointments scheduled last week and for the next two weeks there is no time to head to any of  our kids for the holiday and be with them.  The next best thing is to have friends at our table to enjoy the day.

What am I thankful for?

Family and friends.  To all of you in the US, my wish for you is to have a Thanksgiving that is free of rancor, and squabbles.  A day filled with laughter and love.  A day surrounded by family, friends, and love ones.  A day that you feel welcome and everyone is glad you came to share the Holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Leslie

Christmas is over? Already?!

Where has the time gone?  Waking up this morning, my head was in gear before my feet hit the floor.  Things to do today and I needed to get going.

It was while in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, that I realized there was no more rushing around at warp speed to get anything done.  Sort of a let down.

Like many of you, I had been preparing for Christmas every day for the past two weeks.  Planning, working, running, decorating, and wrapping.  Going to bed last night feeling good about the events of the day and glad that it was all over.  Only to wake this morning in a frantic hurry to do……well, nothing.

Saturday morning we went to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients for Joe’s Christmas feast.  He was up to his elbows in food prep Christmas morning with Phantom of the Opera ringing out in our kitchen.

Joe busy creating his Christmas feast

Joe busy creating his Christmas feast

Friday and Saturday I spent the available time I had going through my website – Message In A Fold – deleting everything about Stampin’ Up!.  All the links to online ordering, their products, and any other mention.  Since I am no longer a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator I needed to get those links off of my website before anyone clicked on them and found the link went no where 😦

I will be taking another online Website Creation class in January from my local Community College.  Be prepared for further changes to my website.

I also spent some time on YouTube searching for inspiration.  Mostly just watching the very talented people create amazing items from paper goods.

I have one of the original Cricut machines.  Also referred to as the “Baby Cricut”.  The only time I’ve used that poor machine was to cut out letters.  I watched several videos about using the Cricut.  All were about the larger version that takes 12″x12″ paper instead of the 6″x12″ one that I have.

While Joe had his feast under control, all was either cooking or waiting in the refrigerator to be popped in the oven, I went into my room to get acquainted with the one machine I’ve had for many years that I don’t know much about.

Here are the results of my playing around with 1-1/2″x12″ strips of paper I had left over from making Post-It-Note holders for our bank tellers.

Cricut flowers

Cricut flowers

These were made from the seven (7) petal flower on the George cartridge.  They are all cut at one (1) inch.  After watching several videos on making flowers I thought I’d give it a whack.

I have several strips of paper from Graphic 45 – Communique Collection – left over from making the holders for our tellers.  They have received calls from me, while we are out on the road, telling them of a FedEx envelope coming with a deposit.  Sometimes I forget to put in a deposit slip and require them to take care of that for me.  Once in a while it is to tell them I need the deposit made immediately.  There is always something a bit different I request of them and I felt they needed to know I appreciate them.

These are plain and generic….at least plain and generic compared to what I had just done.  I don’t know my tellers very well.  Have no idea what their interests are.  I do love the Graphic 45 papers though and since I do a lot of “communicating” 😀 with them I thought this paper would be appropriate.

Kelsey

Kelsey

Jerrod

Jerrod

Nathan

Nathan

Adam

Adam

Cory

Cory

Sorry for some of them being out of focus.  I was in a hurry to get them delivered on Friday.

Today, I will be venturing out to the craft stores and the mall for supplies to create more holders.  This time with a Poker Theme for my friend, Tim.  I’m hoping to get them done in time for his New Year’s poker game with his friends.

What are you going to be doing in your world now that Christmas is over?  Are you making plans for the coming year?